WordPress uses PHP & MySql in te backend to run your blog. The most recent updated version of PHP at the time of writing is PHP 7.x*. However, many hosting companies are currently offering only PHP 5.6 which is bad for many users.
By only upgrading your site to run on PHP 7 instead of PHP 5.6, you will improve the overall performance of your WordPress blog by 2x. With SiteGround you have two ways to move your WordPress site to PHP 7.0 or +.
- Using SG Optimizer WordPress Plugin
- From SiteGround cPanel using PHP Manager
Using SG Optimizer WordPress plugin is the best way to switch to PHP 7.x. However, it might not work for few who are using the outdated plugin. If you are using outdated plugins or themes that are not compatible with PHP7, your site might not work.
However, you don’t need to worry as there is a way to check if your existing plugins & themes are compatible with PHP7 or not. This is an inbuilt feature of free SG Optimizer plugin & in this tutorial I would show you everything from:
- Checking your plugin & theme compatibility for PHP7
- Updating the PHP version from 5.6 to PHP 7.0
How to move your WordPress site to PHP 7.0:
- Login to your WordPress blog which is hosted on SiteGround hosting.
- Install SG optimizer plugin if you haven’t started using it.
- Go to SG optimizer > PHP config
The very first thing you need to do is run the test to see if your existing WordPress plugins are compatible with PHP 7 or not. In below screenshot you can see the test is running:
After my first run, here are the results that I got:
The following plugins/themes are not compatible with PHP 7.0.
In my case, there were total 4 WordPress plugins which were not compatible with PHP 7.0. If there is any essential WordPress plugin in the incompatible list that you can’t live without, you should first contact the plugin developer & ask them to upgrade the plugin. If not, you can also hire a developer to do it for you. In the past, I had to do this as one plugin was abandoned by the developer but my site was greatly dependent on it.
You can also replace those incompatible plugins with any other plugin of your choice. Once you have taken the appropriate action, you need to click on ” try to check the PHP 7.0 compatibility” & SG optimize PHP Compatibility checker will again run the test on your blog.
This would take another 5-10 minutes. This time I got no warning (Your WordPress site is PHP 7.0 compatible.) & a screen like this to upgrade to PHP 7.0
Once you click the button, within few seconds your site will start running on PHP 7.0. You can always upgrade your PHP version or downgrade from the same screen.
Is int it easier to switch PHP version on SiteGround?
I have switched to PHP 7.1 & I recommend you to do the same. Do notice the performance improvement on your SiteGround hosting after upgrading to the latest version of PHP.
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Here are few more tutorials that you might like:
- How to use free SSL Certificate on SiteGround hosting & move your WordPress blog to HTTPS
- How to enable Supercacher on SiteGround hosting & speed up your WordPress Blog